Skip to main content
Mobile technology is not a “silver bullet” for risk and safety data collection issues. Organizations often encounter hurdles on their path to implementing mobile technology. These challenges are common and there are proven approaches for overcoming them.

The right mobile app can make a significant difference in the safety and well-being of organizations’ employees and customers. When done right, mobile technology is user-friendly, accessible, and provides real-time data that risk and safety teams can act on swiftly to elicit safer outcomes. These mobile solutions can also promote employee engagement and improve efficiency company-wide.  

Not all mobile technology is created equal, though; it’s important to be on the lookout for essential features like the ability to add photos and videos, voice-to-text, anonymous reporting, and configurable forms. A robust feature set will enable your mobile platform to perform optimally across your organization’s spectrum of needs. 

Mobile technology is not a “silver bullet” for the data collection issues organizations face. It must be utilized properly to ensure desired results. Many organizations encounter hurdles on their path to implementing mobile technology, but these challenges are common and there are proven approaches to overcome them.  

Overcoming Common Obstacles to Mobile Tech Adoption 

It’s natural for the rollout of a new tool to be met with obstacles. The good news is they can, in most cases, be proactively addressed. Here are the top common challenges to risk and safety mobile tech adoption and how to move past them:  

  1. Negative User Perception  

Challenge: People are inherently resistant to change, especially if the change feels cumbersome or difficult to adopt. If workers have difficulty using your mobile technology because it is too complicated, it won’t be used consistently and will have low perceived value as a result.  

Try this: Make sure the app you’ve selected has a user-centered design that is simple, intuitive, and doesn’t require much training. Key components of this design favor checkboxes and dropdown menus over open entry fields to limit the amount of information users must type.  

  1.  IT Department Objections & Limitations 

Challenge: The IT department is critical in troubleshooting user technical issues for a widely used mobile app; however, IT teams may feel unprepared to address user errors and bugs and may not have the resources to effectively manage routine app updates across hundreds or thousands of devices.  

Try this: Involve your IT department in mobile tech selection so they feel invested in the process and have a sense of commitment to the product. Ask them if they have a mobile device management (MDM) program to push the app to end users to improve adoption.  Evaluate potential vendors’ customer service to identify a partner that will support your team through issues, and opt for a system that operates on a single platform and version for all users for ease in addressing technical concerns.  

  1. Inclusivity & User Comprehension 

Challenge: Non-native English speakers or people with disabilities may encounter additional hurdles to using the mobile app.  

Try this: Gain a clear understanding of any communication or utilization barriers due to disability, cultural background, and language fluency that exist in your organization’s workforce. Seek out a mobile solution that allows for forms to be configured in multiple languages. Also essential is a mobile app that has additional features like voice-to-text to accommodate those who cannot type entries.   

  1. The Hardware Investment  

Challenge: Your organization wants to introduce an EHS mobile solution, but the front-end financial investment required to purchase devices for all employees isn’t feasible.  

Try this: Instead of supplying devices for your entire workforce, consider providing them only for line and safety managers. Or opt for a kiosk-style implementation (that makes use of a tablet) that gives all employees access to the application in designated areas. You may also allow employees to download the app on their personal devices, but know that this option requires robust app security measures to be in place.  

Checklist: Cultivate User Enthusiasm  

Follow this list of best practices to move employees beyond adoption to feeling enthusiastic about how the mobile app will positively impact their jobs, reduce risk, and improve workplace safety:  

  • Involve end users in design, testing and rollout. Assemble a small team that’s representative of roles across all levels of the organization in a test-run. Encourage them to highlight practical issues with the app’s use on the job and to give suggestions for improvement. When you’re ready to roll out the app, consider a “soft” or pilot launch that starts with a limited number of locations or departments. This will further help to identify oversights and problem areas that can be corrected before the entire workforce is on the app. 

  • Train users well and make it fun! Educating employees on the significant impact that reporting can have on everyone’s health and safety is pivotal. Beyond that, dedicate adequate time and resources to training to make sure employees across the tech-savvy spectrum feel comfortable using the app. Even if you know the app is user-friendly, don’t assume it will be easy for everyone to pick up right away. Offer attractive incentives such as awards and prizes to individuals or departments with the most reports logged on the app.   

  • Maintain a feedback loop. Proving to employees that their mobile technology usage matters will support successful adoption and long-term engagement with the app. If employees don’t see any tangible outcomes of their in-app reporting, they’ll be less motivated to do it. Implement procedures that standardize post-report communication about actions that have been taken in response to feedback. Regularly share the positive outcomes of app use such as reduced volume or severity of incidents with the entire organization to promote ongoing usage and foster a stronger safety culture.  

The benefits of adopting mobile technology are far-reaching and worth the time and effort it may take to overcome challenges as you get started. From better, faster data insights to reduced claims costs to safer and healthier employees, there is great value in navigating any obstacles on your path to the right mobile solution for your organization.  

To learn more about what to look for in a risk and safety mobile app for your organization visit Origami Mobile or Contact Us for additional information. 
Javascript Code